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Beardies in the wild. Where have they gone?

james2109

New Member
Hi there
I’m a new member of the site. I’m not a reptile collector but am passionate about sighting reptiles in the wild and as a kid used to catch them and keep a few (there wasnt clear laws then and we had no idea what the affects of taking them from the wild would be). I now live in Queensland but grew up in western Sydney near the site of the M2 motorway (near Kings Langley and Norwest), where we would catch loads of Beardie dragons and blue tongues. I can still remember seeing 6 bearded dragons in one small area on one occasion and catching 3 of them. We would hardly ever go into the area and not see a beardie. I can also remember seeing beardies on the trees as we waited for the school bus at Crestwood reserve in north west Sydney. This was 30 years ago.
I have my own kids now and like me they love reptiles. I love taking them out to look for wild reptiles.
Anyhow, every time I go back to Sydney to visit my parents I go looking for bearded dragons in the remaining bush around western Sydney and I havent seen a a single beardee for 15 years. We found spots where there are plenty of water dragons but no beardies. The water dragons however seem to be thriving.
Now I live in Queensland in an area near plenty of bush, (near Beerwah - think Aust zoo) and we go out looking and see lots of water dragons and snakes and have even seen a few Goannas but no bearded dragons. We even saw a southern angle headed dragon.
I read online and in books about how common bearded dragons are or were around Sydney and Brisbane, even being seen on fence posts and near surburbia. I believe this is no longer the case and they have gone MIA in the wild. I recently spoke to a council worker whose job was to clear vegetation in the reserves around western Sydney. He could also remember the time when bearded dragons were a very common site. However, he could not remember the last time he had seen one and basically said they had disappeared. Now there may be areas around Australia where they are still common but my own experience in western Sydney and in the north of Brisbane is they have all but disappeared in the wild. This is is a little sad considering how many thousands of beardies that would be kept as pets in these areas. I asked the guy who ran the reptile shop in rouse hill in Sydney why there are no longer beardies around and less blue tongues and he said that they were all gone because of cats and dogs and people taking them for the pet trade. Now I know that pet beardies are supposed to be all bred in captivity but I’m not sure this was always the case and perhaps they are still being taken? Even the blue tongues in the wild seem to be on the decline and its less common to hear of people who have wild blue tongues in their back yards these days. Im sure habitat destruction is a huge factor but the reality is there are still plenty of areas around that still have plenty of bush.

What are other peoples experiences? Are bearded dragons in rapid decline and no longer common in many areas? Is this the result of the pet trade or other factors? Could beardies be reintroduced into suitable areas to breed up again? It would be a shame for my childrens children to live in a world where the only beardies they will ever see are at Kellyville pets or Australia zoo.
Thanks for any feedback and observations
James
 

Sdaji

Almost Legendary
APS Veteran
Trusted Seller
They seem to survive in suburbia as adults but recruitment is low with cats etc eating the babies, foxes digging up eggs, etc. I saw one near Rouse Hill about 6 years ago, they're still around. In other areas of Australia they're as common as flies.

Letting animals go into the wild is a bad thing to do for many reasons. If the problem which caused their decline is still there you won't achieve anything anyway and if you remove the problem which caused their decline the population will recover anyway.

The guy who said it was pet collectors doesn't know what he's talking about. Cars, cats, foxes, even natural predators and many many other things each remove far more from the population than pet keepers ever will. The same happens to species no one wants to keep as pets. Ultimately, building a city on top of a habitat is going to mess up the local wildlife, and sometimes it takes years or decades for the older animals to die out.
 

james2109

New Member
They seem to survive in suburbia as adults but recruitment is low with cats etc eating the babies, foxes digging up eggs, etc. I saw one near Rouse Hill about 6 years ago, they're still around. In other areas of Australia they're as common as flies.

Letting animals go into the wild is a bad thing to do for many reasons. If the problem which caused their decline is still there you won't achieve anything anyway and if you remove the problem which caused their decline the population will recover anyway.

The guy who said it was pet collectors doesn't know what he's talking about. Cars, cats, foxes, even natural predators and many many other things each remove far more from the population than pet keepers ever will. The same happens to species no one wants to keep as pets. Ultimately, building a city on top of a habitat is going to mess up the local wildlife, and sometimes it takes years or decades for the older animals to die out.
Thanks Sdaji for your response. The fact you only saw the one 5 years ago probably confirms my point that beardies are no longer common or even seen in areas where they once flourished. I hope your right about the pet trade, I have no evidence to say one way or the other and I know 99.9% of pet collectors don’t do it and want to see wild populations thrive. Interestingly I recently read an article about a young guy in WA who got paid good money to target and capture lizards for the overseas pet trade. He was not the middle man or seller in it but just retrieved the lizards. He was saying the huge money that the lizards were worth. Something like 15000 for a pair of breeding monitors. He got caught and he’s out of it now but it did make me wonder how common this is. Reptiles are such an important part of our ecosystems. The guy from Rouse hill runs a very popular reptile shop
And said he gets offered poached lizards occasionally. He may be wrong in his thoughts but that was what he thought about the situation.
Just out of interest - what cities, places do you know where Beardies are still common as flies? I’d love to hear from others who can confirm this. Thanks again
 

mrkos

Well-Known Member
I grew up in north Brisbane in the 80s and 90s and you could go out anytime of the day in the warmer months and find one we lived next to a rather large park with gums etc I used to get disappointed when I found them as I was into blue tongues and carpets I am pretty sure they are no longer around in those numbers I used to find hatchlings regularly especially really red looking ones I think you are right they haven’t done so well in suburbia sprawl as compared to blue tongue and carpets
 

james2109

New Member
I grew up in north Brisbane in the 80s and 90s and you could go out anytime of the day in the warmer months and find one we lived next to a rather large park with gums etc I used to get disappointed when I found them as I was into blue tongues and carpets I am pretty sure they are no longer around in those numbers I used to find hatchlings regularly especially really red looking ones I think you are right they haven’t done so well in suburbia sprawl as compared to blue tongue and carpets
Thanks mrkos. I’m hoping I’m wrong and where I am are exceptions. On a positive note we didn’t see water dragons when I was a kid and now they are everywhere. Hope they can recover

Thanks mrkos. I’m hoping I’m wrong and where I am are exceptions. On a positive note we didn’t see water dragons when I was a kid and now they are everywhere. Hope they can recover
Did u see many carpets as a kid where u were? Did u handle them or just observe? We’ve seen a couple already but I am unsure about handling them
 

mrkos

Well-Known Member
Thanks mrkos. I’m hoping I’m wrong and where I am are exceptions. On a positive note we didn’t see water dragons when I was a kid and now they are everywhere. Hope they can recover


Did u see many carpets as a kid where u were? Did u handle them or just observe? We’ve seen a couple already but I am unsure about handling them
Very rarely saw carpets where I grew up even though they definitely were around to me they are not an easy species to find unless you have a car and drive around at night they just tend to show up I first held a wild caught mid sized one when I was at a party over twenty years ago and I was hooked since
 

Sdaji

Almost Legendary
APS Veteran
Trusted Seller
Thanks Sdaji for your response. The fact you only saw the one 5 years ago probably confirms my point that beardies are no longer common or even seen in areas where they once flourished. I hope your right about the pet trade, I have no evidence to say one way or the other and I know 99.9% of pet collectors don’t do it and want to see wild populations thrive. Interestingly I recently read an article about a young guy in WA who got paid good money to target and capture lizards for the overseas pet trade. He was not the middle man or seller in it but just retrieved the lizards. He was saying the huge money that the lizards were worth. Something like 15000 for a pair of breeding monitors. He got caught and he’s out of it now but it did make me wonder how common this is. Reptiles are such an important part of our ecosystems. The guy from Rouse hill runs a very popular reptile shop
And said he gets offered poached lizards occasionally. He may be wrong in his thoughts but that was what he thought about the situation.
Just out of interest - what cities, places do you know where Beardies are still common as flies? I’d love to hear from others who can confirm this. Thanks again
The fact I only saw one five years ago is simply because I was only briefly in that area at that time. I've only driven through Rouse Hill once since then, in cold weather.

I'm sure some geckoes, monitors, etc from WA still fetch big dollars, but a Sydney barbata is worth less than a premium chocolate bar. Virtually no one even wants to bother keeping them even if offered for free. Everyone wants morphed vitticeps, and even they are dirt cheap these days. Comparing specific WA monitors to a Sydney barbata is like comparing the Mona Lisa to one of my drunken biro scribbles of a stick figure. I would literally struggle to give either of them away these days.

There are plenty of places along the east coast where barbata are common, and even in parts of Victoria they're easy enough to find. Vitticeps, well, anywhere in western NSW, most of SA and southern NT has more than you can shake a stick at. When I drive through those areas I usually stop to look at the first one or two of the trip, especially if I have a passenger, but after that I don't even slow down unless I have to swerve to miss them. I often see dozens in a day without trying, just while driving to wherever I'm going.
 

james2109

New Member
The fact I only saw one five years ago is simply because I was only briefly in that area at that time. I've only driven through Rouse Hill once since then, in cold weather.

I'm sure some geckoes, monitors, etc from WA still fetch big dollars, but a Sydney barbata is worth less than a premium chocolate bar. Virtually no one even wants to bother keeping them even if offered for free. Everyone wants morphed vitticeps, and even they are dirt cheap these days. Comparing specific WA monitors to a Sydney barbata is like comparing the Mona Lisa to one of my drunken biro scribbles of a stick figure. I would literally struggle to give either of them away these days.

There are plenty of places along the east coast where barbata are common, and even in parts of Victoria they're easy enough to find. Vitticeps, well, anywhere in western NSW, most of SA and southern NT has more than you can shake a stick at. When I drive through those areas I usually stop to look at the first one or two of the trip, especially if I have a passenger, but after that I don't even slow down unless I have to swerve to miss them. I often see dozens in a day without trying, just while driving to wherever I'm going.
They must be worth something because people are still trying to smuggle them out of the country. But i take your point. They are hardly rare and worth less than less common lizards.
 

Tobe404

Donator
Donator
There was an Eastern Bearded in my Carport the other day. Only recently hatched I reckon, going by the size of it. Seen an Adult one not that long ago on my property also. They're definitely still around.
 

james2109

New Member
Thats South
They must be worth something because people are still trying to smuggle them out of the country. But i take your point. They are hardly rare and worth less than less common lizards.
Sdaji - Read this article. It doesnt speak of beardies as such but water dragons being sold for 480 in Asia and Blue tongues for 580. You can be sure in the Asian market they are worth more than nothing and worth smuggling to someone.

lizards smuggled overseas
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They must be worth something because people are still trying to smuggle them out of the country. But i take your point. They are hardly rare and worth less than less common lizards.
And this article about the guy in WA. Its big business guys. Not a few kids keeping a few pet reptiles any more. It should concern us all who love reptiles and want gto see them around for many generations to come - Article about guy in WA poaching
 
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Tobe404

Donator
Donator
Thats South

Sdaji - Read this article. It doesnt speak of beardies as such but water dragons being sold for 480 in Asia and Blue tongues for 580. You can be sure in the Asian market they are worth more than nothing and worth smuggling to someone.

lizards smuggled overs
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And this article about the guy in WA. Its big business guys. Not a few kids keeping a few pet reptiles any more. It should concern us all who love reptiles and want gto see them around for many generations to come - Article about guy in WA poaching

I've heard stories of Sleepys going for 1k-4k in Japan. Wouldn't surprise me. Unfortunately.
 

Pythonguy1

Well-Known Member
Letting animals go into the wild is a bad thing to do for many reasons. If the problem which caused their decline is still there you won't achieve anything anyway and if you remove the problem which caused their decline the population will recover anyway.
Lol, I had this guy come into the store once and say he wanted to by a bearded dragon, 'sure' I thought, until he said he was going to release into his backyard.
Needless to say that I did not sell it to him when I heard that.
 

Sdaji

Almost Legendary
APS Veteran
Trusted Seller
They must be worth something because people are still trying to smuggle them out of the country. But i take your point. They are hardly rare and worth less than less common lizards.

As I said, specific species will fetch big dollars. Obscure geckoes and various monitors, but no one is going to smuggle a Sydney barbata out of the country. That's like me trying to sell one of my biro scribbles for a million dollars because the Mona Lisa is worth a lot of money and they're both art. I've been to reptile expos in multiple countries and continents and I can assure you that a Sydney barbata would be worth close to nothing anywhere. Basic vitticeps are extremely cheap and common in every country where people keep reptiles (legally and illegally). If you wanted to get hold of a basic beardy outside Australia, you sure as heck wouldn't smuggle one out of one of the most heavily regulated countries in the world when you can buy a better one legally from a range of countries which will happily export at a tiny fraction of the cost and zero risk. Comparing a Sydney barbata to an obscure WA gecko is nonsensical.
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Thats South

Sdaji - Read this article. It doesnt speak of beardies as such but water dragons being sold for 480 in Asia and Blue tongues for 580. You can be sure in the Asian market they are worth more than nothing and worth smuggling to someone.

lizards smuggled overseas
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And this article about the guy in WA. Its big business guys. Not a few kids keeping a few pet reptiles any more. It should concern us all who love reptiles and want gto see them around for many generations to come - Article about guy in WA poaching
I lived in Asia for 6 years and have many reptile keeping friends in various countries in Asia. I've been to reptile expos in Asia and countless reptile pet shops in however many countries.

I'm well familiar with the industry. I've been involved in the reptile industry for decades.

I can buy a water dragon in Asia for around $40, including in countries which can legally export them. You can cite some agenda-pushing article if you want, even if it's as irrelevant as it is incorrect, but I do know what's going on in the industry well enough to know that no one is going to try to smuggle a Sydney barbata out of Australia.

Bearded Dragons are the second or third most popular lizard in the world. I've seen them from Florida to Vietnam to Japan to India etc etc. They're extremely popular in Europe, South Africa...everywhere. They're common and cheap all over the world. They're cheaper outside Australia than inside Australia. Vitticeps are far, far more popular than barbata and no one is interested in basic ones, they want morphs. You can legally export them from many countries where they're cheap. From Australia it is extremely expensive (just a holiday to Australia is very expensive by global standards, even without trying to do anything illicit). Why would you try to smuggle something worthless out of the country at great risk and expense, when the same thing can legally be obtained at a trivial cost in any other corner of the globe?

Clearly people here are talking without actually knowing anything about the situation.
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I've heard stories of Sleepys going for 1k-4k in Japan. Wouldn't surprise me. Unfortunately.

Stumpies, absolutely, they fetch big dollars outside Australia and are frequently smuggled. Because they fetch big dollars outside Australia. When people excitedly show them to me outside Australia I always laugh, they ask why, I say that most of the time I don't even stop to look at them when I drive past them, I often see around a hundred in a day on the road, and they look at me in disbelief.

The reason they're expensive is that they're funky and unique, and have an extremely low reproductive rate, both because breeding them is difficult and because they only have two babies per year. Unfortunately most people keep them badly and they usually die quickly, not helped by them arriving in bad condition after being smuggled.

Contrast that with Beardies which produce large clutches multiple times per year, and it's easy to see why one is cheap and the other is expensive.
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I've heard stories of Sleepys going for 1k-4k in Japan. Wouldn't surprise me. Unfortunately.

Stumpies, absolutely, they fetch big dollars outside Australia and are frequently smuggled. Because they fetch big dollars outside Australia. When people excitedly show them to me outside Australia I always laugh, they ask why, I say that most of the time I don't even stop to look at them when I drive past them, I often see around a hundred in a day on the road, and they look at me in disbelief.

The reason they're expensive is that they're funky and unique, and have an extremely low reproductive rate, both because breeding them is difficult and because they only have two babies per year. Unfortunately most people keep them badly and they usually die quickly, not helped by them arriving in bad condition after being smuggled.

Contrast that with Beardies which produce large clutches multiple times per year, and it's easy to see why one is cheap and the other is expensive.
 
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Herptology

Very Well-Known Member
Trusted Seller
I think another important thing to mention is the reptile “hobby” overseas (especially America) is many many many many times bigger than it is here, the larger breeders here producing no more than 1000 animals a year, with breeders in America anywhere up to 10-15,000+

as sdaji said, Australian reptiles are cheaper over seas than they are here, the exceptions being the larger montitors, such as Perenties or lacies... but they are there and they are starting to find pairs to start breeding them

take emerald monitors for example, they’ve been sold a couple times here for 10-$20,000 But sell fairly regularly for a couple thousand in America
 

SarahJane

Not so new Member
Growing up on the Gold Coast, they (bearded dragons) were very common, we had a couple living in our front yard, and we lived in a busy part of the suburb, places that were scrubby/woody you'd be tripping over them. Now-a-days I'm giddy to spot one, on the other hand, water dragons are rampant here. It seems that water dragons have thrived in the busy urban sprawl here, while the beardies have declined massively. They were a big part of my childhood, I've definately noticed their decline. Similarly I haven't spotted a frilly South of the Sunshine Coast, and I suspect they're locally extinct in this region.
 

james2109

New Member
Glad it's not just me noticing Sarah-Jane. A crying shame. I'd love to know why. Probably just the after affects of urbanisation, traffic and more dogs and cats.
Apparently a few Frillies on Bridie Island. But apart from that they are gone according to what I've read. Were once fairly common between Brissy and Sunshine coast
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I think another important thing to mention is the reptile “hobby” overseas (especially America) is many many many many times bigger than it is here, the larger breeders here producing no more than 1000 animals a year, with breeders in America anywhere up to 10-15,000+

as sdaji said, Australian reptiles are cheaper over seas than they are here, the exceptions being the larger montitors, such as Perenties or lacies... but they are there and they are starting to find pairs to start breeding them

take emerald monitors for example, they’ve been sold a couple times here for 10-$20,000 But sell fairly regularly for a couple thousand in America
Not in Asia Herptology. They are worth way more. Read the article attached above.
 
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Archer

New Member
The ex's family own 5 acres in western Sydney, in a semi rural area. The have adult beardies, blueys, even monitors and turtles. My brother lives in the penrith suburbs and has an adult bluey visit occasionally.
Theyre there if you know where to look, but agree that ever expanding housing developments are a major factor in habitat destruction.
Heres a very crap pic of a wild beardie down the road from me.
 

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Bluetongue1

Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
On the subject of reptile smuggling, it is certainly nothing new. Over 50 years ago a mate in Sydney showed me a foreign snake he had acquired on the black market. Australia banned commercial export of its fauna in the early 1980’s, yet pretty much every desirable reptile species discovered and named since then is now available in the US and Europe. Even Pygmy Bluetongues. Are all these animals now scarce in the wild?

I know Niall Cook (and Dave MacIntosh) personally. I can assure you that Niall did not have common species, such as ackies, on his ‘shopping list’. I have to say that poaching is not quite as easy as he would have you believe - if it was, he would not have been caught, as did happen on more than one occasion. There are professional poachers out there, one of which I am told makes a yearly visit to WA and has never been caught. That aside, I’d like to say that Niall was a really decent kid growing up, but unfortunately he came under the influence of the wrong sort of people at a vulnerable time in his life.

Just because someone happens to get hold of a lizard and thinks he can make an easy buck by flogging it to a pet shop, does not make this a reason for reduction in wild populations of beardies or anything else. Your pet shop owner is clearly jumping to unjustified conclusions there.

I spent my first 25 years in Sydney, much of it in the bush or anywhere else I find could reptiles or amphibians or other wildlife. I almost never came across a Bearded Dragon or Bluetongue in natural bushland. However, there was one occasion, when I was probably about 12, I heard this loud thump and something went crashing through the undergrowth for about 10m, then suddenly stopped. I took off after it, while my mate got spooked and headed in the opposite direction. With the racket it made, I thought it was probably some sort of mammal. Twice more as I got close to it did a 10m or so sprint and stopped. After the third effort it stayed put. Twas then I discovered a very large and not so happy bearded dragon. Another occasion was at one of my favourite herping spots called Illawong, not far from Menai. It was typical dry eucalypt forest with good undergrowth and no roads or tracks through it. In all the time I spent there I never saw a bearded dragon. Then one afternoon I noticed a small dragon emerging from a bit of a pit in the sand. As I got closer I realised there were several individuals nearby. I counted at least 15 hatchling beardeds emerging from the nest.

At the top of the hill behind a few hundred metres from home was a horse riding school. It was mostly cleared paddocks with some scattered trees left to provide shade and a few felled trees that were old and grey. It was not unusual to find a number of beardeds in the paddocks. I even came across one about 5m up a tree I climbed, stuck on the end of lopped of branch. It clearly wanted to get away from me but did not want to jump to the ground from that distance. So I backed down the tree and let it be. The point I would make here is that these lizards are a lot more visible in semi-cleared environments, than in natural forest with undergrowth.

I grew up in north Brisbane in the 80s and 90s and you could go out anytime of the day in the warmer months and find one we lived next to a rather large park with gums etc I used to get disappointed when I found them as I was into blue tongues and carpets I am pretty sure they are no longer around in those numbers I used to find hatchlings regularly especially really red looking ones I think you are right they haven’t done so well in suburbia sprawl as compared to blue tongue and carpets
I would suggest that the reddish ones you were seeing were actually Tommy Roundhead dragons, which vary from brown to russet colour. Baby beardeds are basically varying shades of grey and cream.

There is no doubt a multiplicity of reasons as to why bearded dragons have declined in suburban parks and similarly cleared areas. And the reasons might vary from area to area. Dogs and cats have around for decades. However, in more recent times foxes have moved into suburban areas and become much more common. These predators can smell buried eggs of reptiles and will decimate any nests they find. I have seen it happen with turtles in the middle of suburban Perth.

In both Sydney and Perth, I used to be able to go out and collect a diverse array of grasshoppers and other insects from any patch of long grass in the warmer months. These days one is scratching to find anything. If you are lucky you might get one errant locust. Personally, I reckon that this is likely due to spraying of grass and weeds in early spring kill them off, depriving leaf-eating insects, and their predators, of food. These sorts of arthropods are an important component of bearded dragon diets.

Other factors include a huge increase in nearby traffic flow and also a lot more human traffic going for runs or walks in these areas, something beardies do not appear to cope with. If anyone suggest any more possibilities, I’d love to hear them.

I have some ideas on Bluetongues and Water Dragons if you are interested?
 

james2109

New Member
On the subject of reptile smuggling, it is certainly nothing new. Over 50 years ago a mate in Sydney showed me a foreign snake he had acquired on the black market. Australia banned commercial export of its fauna in the early 1980’s, yet pretty much every desirable reptile species discovered and named since then is now available in the US and Europe. Even Pygmy Bluetongues. Are all these animals now scarce in the wild?

I know Niall Cook (and Dave MacIntosh) personally. I can assure you that Niall did not have common species, such as ackies, on his ‘shopping list’. I have to say that poaching is not quite as easy as he would have you believe - if it was, he would not have been caught, as did happen on more than one occasion. There are professional poachers out there, one of which I am told makes a yearly visit to WA and has never been caught. That aside, I’d like to say that Niall was a really decent kid growing up, but unfortunately he came under the influence of the wrong sort of people at a vulnerable time in his life.

Just because someone happens to get hold of a lizard and thinks he can make an easy buck by flogging it to a pet shop, does not make this a reason for reduction in wild populations of beardies or anything else. Your pet shop owner is clearly jumping to unjustified conclusions there.

I spent my first 25 years in Sydney, much of it in the bush or anywhere else I find could reptiles or amphibians or other wildlife. I almost never came across a Bearded Dragon or Bluetongue in natural bushland. However, there was one occasion, when I was probably about 12, I heard this loud thump and something went crashing through the undergrowth for about 10m, then suddenly stopped. I took off after it, while my mate got spooked and headed in the opposite direction. With the racket it made, I thought it was probably some sort of mammal. Twice more as I got close to it did a 10m or so sprint and stopped. After the third effort it stayed put. Twas then I discovered a very large and not so happy bearded dragon. Another occasion was at one of my favourite herping spots called Illawong, not far from Menai. It was typical dry eucalypt forest with good undergrowth and no roads or tracks through it. In all the time I spent there I never saw a bearded dragon. Then one afternoon I noticed a small dragon emerging from a bit of a pit in the sand. As I got closer I realised there were several individuals nearby. I counted at least 15 hatchling beardeds emerging from the nest.

At the top of the hill behind a few hundred metres from home was a horse riding school. It was mostly cleared paddocks with some scattered trees left to provide shade and a few felled trees that were old and grey. It was not unusual to find a number of beardeds in the paddocks. I even came across one about 5m up a tree I climbed, stuck on the end of lopped of branch. It clearly wanted to get away from me but did not want to jump to the ground from that distance. So I backed down the tree and let it be. The point I would make here is that these lizards are a lot more visible in semi-cleared environments, than in natural forest with undergrowth.


I would suggest that the reddish ones you were seeing were actually Tommy Roundhead dragons, which vary from brown to russet colour. Baby beardeds are basically varying shades of grey and cream.

There is no doubt a multiplicity of reasons as to why bearded dragons have declined in suburban parks and similarly cleared areas. And the reasons might vary from area to area. Dogs and cats have around for decades. However, in more recent times foxes have moved into suburban areas and become much more common. These predators can smell buried eggs of reptiles and will decimate any nests they find. I have seen it happen with turtles in the middle of suburban Perth.

In both Sydney and Perth, I used to be able to go out and collect a diverse array of grasshoppers and other insects from any patch of long grass in the warmer months. These days one is scratching to find anything. If you are lucky you might get one errant locust. Personally, I reckon that this is likely due to spraying of grass and weeds in early spring kill them off, depriving leaf-eating insects, and their predators, of food. These sorts of arthropods are an important component of bearded dragon diets.

Other factors include a huge increase in nearby traffic flow and also a lot more human traffic going for runs or walks in these areas, something beardies do not appear to cope with. If anyone suggest any more possibilities, I’d love to hear them.

I have some ideas on Bluetongues and Water Dragons if you are interested?
Yes I am interested in your thoughts
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Yes I am interested in your thoughts
Just to clarify the reptile shop owner felt the decline in beardies and blue tongues was due to more dogs and cats and people taking them from the wild. He did not say but i think it is obvious that new housing estates, roads etc are also part of the decline. I think if people are taking something from the wild of course it will contribute to the decline.
 
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